Jeremy Corbyn refuses to rule out running as independent candidate in Islington

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Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn   (PA Archive)
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (PA Archive)

Jeremy Corbyn refused to rule out running as an independent candidate at the next election if he is not reinstated to the Labour party.

The former opposition leader had the whip removed last year over controversial remarks he made when the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) published a damning report on anti-Semitism in the party.

At a packed Labour Party Conference event in Brighton’s Pryzm nightclub on Tuesday, Mr Corbyn — who has held the Islington North seat for Labour since 1983 — said he should be reinstated.

When asked whether he would stand as an independent at the next election, he added: "Let's not go into hypotheticals here.

“As far as I'm concerned I was proud to be elected as a Labour MP in December 2019.

"I have been elected 10 times in my constituency since 1983. I love the area and do my best to represent all of the people in my community."

Labour's national executive committee lifted the suspension after Mr Corbyn issued a statement “clarifying” controversial remarks he made following the EHRC report.

Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Pryzm nightclub (Evening Standard)
Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Pryzm nightclub (Evening Standard)

Mr Corbyn had said anti- Semitism was “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media”.

In a “clarification”, which was accepted by the NEC, he later said the claims had not been “exaggerated”.

Keir Starmer and Labour HQ have refused to readmit him back into the party and restore the whip despite the NEC ruling.

"Yes, my membership of the party was suspended," Mr Corbyn added. "An inquiry took place and I was reinstated.

"I don't think the parliamentary Labour party should try and gainsay what the national executive has decided so as far as I'm concerned there is no case other than I should be reinstated on the Labour whip."

When asked if he would apologise for his comments regarding anti-Semitism in Labour under his leadership, he added: "I was reinstated by the national executive in full.

"You have read all the statements I have made, including the statement expressing my all my regret about everything that had happened in the party and the fact that I had introduced changes to ensure that we would deal with racism in every form in our party.

"Racism has no place whatsoever anywhere in our society, in our party or in our movement."

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